Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

The Alternative Fact of "Buffalo Gals"

Yes..."Alternative Facts"...seems a bit Orwellian when applied to recent current events...but not as much when applied to music throughout recent history...intersting how the song took so many turns, and not surprising that 

Love the demostration of scratching technique in the video too...McLaren had his fingers in a lot of different things...had his finger on the pulse of what was coming next for quite a while...I think I like that version best too...playful...the rockabilly one is fun too...

I could have easily added quite a few more videos, taken it right up to 'Buffao Stance' by Nenah Cherry and if I really wanted to extend the article by a few thousand words we could have gotten into the lyrics which were highly sexulaized for the times. But I didn't. Saving it for the book. 

Regarding Duck Rock, it is one of my most listened to albums. To me it was all about the World's Famous, two DJs who certainly popularized scratching if not invented it here in NYC. The call-in clips from their show (We got a girl on the phone who goes by the name of Asia...Do you listen to the World's Famous afternoon show?...You know it...All that scratchin' is makin' me itch.) mixed with the Afro-Caribbean beats makes it work. Keith Haring cover too. Some days it beats out the banjo and pedal steel. 

I remember the Neneh Cherry track...I liked that a lot...all that scratchin is makin me itch...

Some days you need something besides pedal steel, banjo, etc...there's a lot out there that isn't that...and some of it is great...my dad was a jazz buff...heard jazz from the time I was 2-3...Dixieland, piano trios...I get sidetracked there all the time...old soul music too... (Eugene Record!!!)...there's definitely a musicial world beyond the ND umbrella...

Thanks for the reminder about 'Duck Rock'.  What a great album that was. I've missed hearing it since I sold my vinyl collection back in the 90's. And, I had pretty much forgotten about Malcolm McClaren until Pharrel Williams showed up on the scene wearing his hat a couple of years ago. 

https://play.spotify.com/album/6S4f7yDtJlS0iQMEuCtIF0

 

As a kid, the first time I ever heard "Buffalo Gal" was Ross Bagdasarian/David Seville's comic take on it.  Here it is; I think he's playing Buffalo Bill as well as Dave and the Chipmunks, and that's undoubtedly June Foray as Buffalo Gal herself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyDX5lHvGhU

Love this right left stereo mix and all.

Because the Chipmunks records were pretty much multiple tracks of Ross Bagdasarian's own voice, with each part recorded separately, it was probably fairly easy to create those "ping-pong" stereo mixes.  Liberty Records was promoting "Visual Sound Stereo," and they sure delivered on that.  Ted Keep, RB's usual engineer, was a brilliant craftsman and won at least one Grammy for his work on the Chipmunks records.  Keep also loaned a personal tape he had made of bullfight sounds in Mexico to a struggling musician named Herb Alpert, who mixed it with a failed instrumental he had recorded called "Twinkle Star," retitled the results "The Lonely Bull," and the rest was also history.

I started playing a version that was in a book of nonsense songs By Norman Cazden, that my dad bought someplace. It had the line "I danced with the girl with the wooden leg  ..... I guess that's why they call her Peg." I decided that was insensitive and wrote my own version. Then I caught myself singing it over part of "Take a Walk on the Wild Side." Doo, doo, Doo etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHOCVpbwtrs&list=PLOHAjifqCtF0t-LPjZGa-qlDh-ZXNNHaS&index=4

Dear Peter...this is very much a part of the evolution of Buffalo Gals...well done!

I have a 9 11 mention here. Little Jewford had The Cornell Hurd Band in the studio that night to record adaptations of this and Rag Time Cowboy Joe for his album You Got A Friend In Uranius. I was stuck in Austin but felt more secure staying at my hotel.

Malcolm McLaren? Self-promoting Jewish rag merchant parasite who ruthlessly exploited all the bands and creative people mentioned for his own benefit and profit. He tried NY first but the Dolls told him to eff off. After sadistically draining the members of of the Pistols, punk soon died, he then came back to the USA to glom onto the nascent Hip Hop music scene being created by Black & Puerto Rican youths in New York.

Rest In Pieces Malcolm you sh*te.

I thought all music managers did that..."Zaentz Can't Dance"...

@Celticgods: I don't know enough about McLaren to respond appropriately, so I'll just stick to the topic. Seems like you're on a different path than what my intention was, which is about how a song evolves. While some of your points may be spot on, your language and tone are off the chart.

However you are blogging about McLaren and his cultural impact?  Wouldn't knowing about McLaren's perception not only in the US but in his own country be de rigeur foran informed assessment?

Shouldn't you be on another website, like maybe Stormfront, you fucking Nazi?

Well we have gotten off the track now haven't we?...I'm assuming I shouldn't look up "Stormfront"...thanks for the warning Jeff...

As for Celticgods, that was a pretty definitive take...doesn't leave much room for diplomacy later...

McLaren had a healthy ego for sure, and if he ripped his artists off, he's a bad guy but not the only one, especially in the music business which is and always has been full of parasites...but he's dead, and Duck Rock is still dated, but very cool...I'm going to leave it at that...

 

 

To Easy Ed:  I know you realized that my insults were directed to Celticgods and not you, even though the page layout placed them below your remarks.  People often can't leave their politics out of a conversation, and usually, the more rancid their point of view is, the more likely they are to add it to the conversation.  This was the case in my area with an oldies record shop which recently closed down with the retirement of one of its owners.  When one of the clerks there (not one of the owners) would get together with a bunch of his cronies, the atmosphere could get pretty thick; with insults flying aimed at blacks, Jews, gays, why women should never have been allowed to vote, and finally "these damn stupid Swedes."  I don't fit any of those categories except 50% "stupid Swede," but I'd had enough.  (Besides, I'd been crate digging for an hour and hadn't found anything I liked...)

Jeff: I completely understood the hierarchy of comments and knew who you were directing your words toward. What an odd exerpience at that record shop, but sadder still that you came away empty handed.   

 

Reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles where the racist town folk (most all named Johnson including Howard Johnson, who later breaded and fried a clam, leading to another lengthy comment thread out here) finally decide to give some land to the Blacks and Chinese (of course, they referenced them in the more colorful racist terminology), and then this particular Johnson  who made that pronouncement says, "but we don't want the Irish"...if you find someone to blame you don't have to look in the mirror...there is little doubt that income inequality and the disappearing middle class (which is lots of places, not just here) has many people up in arms...they fear for the future, for their kids, etc...certain political doctrines rise at times when there is a lot of fear, and they exploit it by naming the enemy...people always want a simple answer to complex problems, they think a President can solve everything because they remember things were better when Reagan or Clinton was President, and somehow they get credit for it when it isn't that simple...so it's immigrants or Swedes or whatever...of course, they are blaming the wrong people, but the ones who are cashing in just want everyone distracted...

If you dug for an hour and didn't find anything worth buying, maybe it's just as well they closed...

 

 

 

What in your small world makes me a Nazi and deserving of being cursed?  your reaction is typical of many in this generation of the igorant self-involved.

Interesting evolution of a sturdy, catchy, humorous song from minstrel music through various American styles. I sing it to kids on an annual Halloween gig.  It still works. ;)

 

 

I think that was really what Ed was getting at...it worked as a folk/rockabilly/hip hop songs...and it still works...it has evolved...it stays timely, or is timeless...

I should have posted your words Jim and left it at that. Seems that sharing certain examples and then writing about what cultural contribution they are attributed to caused someone to offer their views via verbal vomit. But such is the life of the lonely blogger, so getting challenged or publicly whipped is just part of the process. Free speech is something I encourage and all we generally ask here on this site is to keep it respectful. My friend up above has perhaps a very solid view to offer and it could have opened a much more interesting dialogue  without the religious slur and anger expressed that obscured the validity of his points. 

I'm only joining this conversation because I found Jeff Missinne's comment about the racist record store clerk so odd. If he hated all those people what in the hell was he doing working in a record store since they constitute a significant proportion of musicians. Did he only like neo-Nazi punk bands? And putting down Swedes is a new one. I'm 100% American-Swede (2nd & 3rd generation) and the worst I've heard my racial group called is Squarehead which I've used myself. Most of my relatives are pretty damn conservative (I'm the black sheep) but I suppose that clerk and his cronies were talking about those "evil socialists" in Sweden.

I found Celticgods comments on Malcolm Mclaren a pretty common assessment. If instead of calling him a "Jewish rag merchant parasite" he'd just called him a music parasite I would think there wouldn't be any need to call him on it and I don't know if that was a calculated racist remark or not. His mentioning of hip-hop artists' race didn't strike me as derogatory. 

"Squarehead"...?   I've never heard that before...I was pretty sure I'd heard them all...

Ed mentioned that Celticgods comment was probably pertinent minus the invective...McLaren and Kim Fowley have been pretty roundly bashed for a lot of the same things...so have Saul Zaentz, Irving Azoff, Tommy Mottola, David Geffen, Elliot Roberts, etc...management and record label types have always exploited artists...it isn't even common, it is almost universal...even artists who eventually got their share got screwed in the beginning...it isn't right, but it's just how it was...and now there's not much money to be made for most artists, especially the ones who we follow out here on this site...but they get to keep a lot larger percentage of what they do generate...of course now they are doing almost all the work...the ones I talk to book themselves for the most part...

Hey Jim, I wondered how many got your reference to John Fogerty's "Zaentz Can't Dance" but the epitome of record executive hubris has to be when Zaentz sued Fogerty when he went solo for sounding too much like Creedence Clearwater (in other words, himself) since Zaentz ran Fantasy Records who Creedence recorded for. At least the judge sided with Fogerty on that no-brainer.

In regards to Squarehead I had never heard that term until 1972 when I saw the interesting movie "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" which was about the James and Younger gang robbing a bank in Minnesota. Robert Duvall played Jesse James and Cliff Robertson played ColeYounger and these Southerners kept calling the Scandinavians of that town Squareheads. (The film was directed by Philip Kaufman who has directed some of my favorite movies like "White Dawn," "The Right Stuff," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Henry and June" and this film approached the excellence of those.) It's surprising I had never heard this derogatory term for Scandinavians since the small high school I went to in a farming community in Central California was pretty much divided between Protestant Scandinavians and Portuguese Catholics and that was the racial/religious conflict there as we had no blacks in the whole school system until about my freshman year and then only a few. We called the Portuguese Portagees or Greenies (I don't know where that came from) but they just called us Swedes. I guess I've really gone off track here so I'll stop.

Yes...Fogerty wouldn't play Creedence songs live for years because Zaentz got paid royalties because he had all the rights to them...Creedence supposedly fractured over the other members wanting to write songs too, and the record they did that on, "Mardi Gras" was not as successful as their others, except for John's songs...Cook and Clifford say Fogerty was the one that told them they had to write songs for the record and they claim they didn't want to...Fogerty says they and his brother Tom complained all the time because he wrote all the songs so he was giving them the opportunity...regardless the band fractured and I read that John and Tom didn't ever reconcile...when Tom was dying in the hospital (kidney problems I believe) John went to see him to try to reconcile everything...supposedly Tom told John then that his best friend was Saul Zaentz...can you imagine holding on to that as you were dying/...saying about the worst thing you could possibly say to your brother...

Of course Zaentz became a famous movie producer later and people have all sorts of wonderful things to say about his philanthropy these days...

I love "Henry and June" and "The Right Stuff", but I have not seen the 1972 film you reference...just may have to look that one up...

 

Interesting Jim. I hadn't heard all those details about the Creedence break-up and John and his brother's estrangemnet. I think Zaentz's story shows the complexity of human nature. For how could someone be such a heel as to sue someone for sounding like himself but also produce a movie as great as "The English Patient"? Humans are weird indeed like nice folks who are Trump supporters--it doesn't make sense.

The store I described was pretty much a hangout for retirement-age 50's grease-rockers; my nickname for it was "Old Fart Day Care."  Other than Tea Party politics, the only accepted topics of conversation were muscle cars and didn't us good ol' boys fuggin' rock back then, you betcha.  Sorry to do a cut-and-paste here, but I'm going back to a note I wrote to myself and have shared with a few friends; containing my recollections of quotes from the clerk and his buddies...

Needless to say, it's a total sausage fest there. Girls don't rock!  "Yuh gotta have a cock t'rock, baby!"  Female artists are segregated in their own section, possibly to prevent the spread of "cooties?" Blacks don't rock either; except for 50's doo-woppers, all records by black artists are in a bin labeled "R & B, Soul, Disco & Etc." (Just for fun I should also mention that at this store, the Baja Marimba Band LPS may be found in a bin marked "International/Foreign," along with Hawaiian music. Obviously, these guys' flags stopped at 48 states.)  

I got their goat(s?) one time; they were wondering out loud which performer had had hits on the chart over the most consecutive decades,  and I'd just heard the answer on the radio a few days earlier:  Cher, who charted in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's.  Wish I could've recorded their reactions... "UGHH!!"  "Oh, Jeezus, not her!!"  "Not THAT libtard bitch!!"  "Ah think ah just threw up in muh mouth!!"  They tossed out a number of alternate guesses, mostly from the country chart; I said, well that's the country chart, I'm talking the pop chart here.

  The clerk is never reluctant to tell the customer how much he hates the record the customer's buying, and how much his taste in music sucks.  (His most hated records are "Spiders and Snakes" by Jim Stafford, "Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin, and anything by the Bee Gees.)

One day, the clerk and his cronies were holding forth on (of all topics!) Arthur Godfrey's "Too Fat Polka." "Yeah, I got that one for my boy. Y'know, that thing's got some great lyrics if yuh just listen to 'em. But yuh gotta listen to 'em! Yuh can't play that song now, yuh know, ohhhh, myyyy, mustn't offend anyone. These modern 'liberated' women all weigh 400 pounds, but god forbid yuh should make fun of 'em!"



The conversation then somehow turned to the Blues Brothers; "Yuh know how they got started; it was a backlash against all that black disco crap." (Yeah right, a bunch of millionaire white movie stars start a pseudo-blues novelty band to show 'em how it's really done...) And last but hardly least...

"I just got back from South Carolina; I've never been so happy surrounded by real conservatives, not like this buncha dumb Swedes up here. Wife 'n' I were havin' dinner with a good ol' boy down there, and he says to us, this country started slidin' down hill when they let women and (n-word plural) vote, and let all the queers outa their closet! Now that's the kinda thing we useta be able to say and laugh about, but not now, uh-UNH!!"   And that's what it was like there.  I do miss the place though because this is a small town and it was the only actual record shop within 150 miles...

All I can say Jeff is those guys must be ecstatic about the new Trumpian world we now live in where all their racist, white is right, fuck-everybody-but-fellow-rednecks feel free to express their self-righteous hatred with glee without having to deal with politically correct reactions. "Politically correct" gets a lot of criticism and even I at times feel it gets out-of-hand but what it really came down to was an attempt to get people to be civil and kind which is something this world needs a lot more of and which the Trumpians can't stand. 

Unfortunately for them, as I mentioned, the record shop closed down December 31, so where are they gonna go to hang out??

 

I'm almost tempted to cut and paste these comments when I move this post over to my own website in a couple of days. You guys have taken this topic way, way down the road. But the HoJo friend clam reference didn't escape me. Blessings.

Couldn't help myself Ed on the clams...unless you ate at HoJo' s you don't know...the family I married into went out of their way to find those ...just do what you do Ed...Jeff's post is a treatise on the unenlightened...I am glad he made notes...except for the fact that it may reinforce some notions I would rather not carry around...Love to  all who contributed including Celticgods...at least Fake Name isn't posting anymore